Keeping your workers safe from construction hazards

In this day and age where speed is the new currency, we want to streamline everything and make every process as seamless as possible. In fact, according to the website of Ware Landscaping, many CRM software packages are helping contractors in the building and construction industry streamline each of their business processes, from bidding to sales. But apart from speed, one most important thing that you should look after is safety. Unfortunately, many contractors tend to forget this, which results in injurious, sometimes even fatal work-related incidents.

Efficiency and safety are never at the opposite side of the spectrum. In fact, efficiency means safety as it is to another. To keep your workers safe and your bottom line healthy, keeping your workers away from safety hazards is a must. Below are some of the most common workplace incidents:

Slip and fall

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 291 of the 828 fatalities in the construction industry in 2013 were slip and fall-related. As such, employers are asked to plan ahead to see potential slip and fall hazards in the workplace. Employers should also provide fall safety equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems, to keep workers safe. Finally, workers should be trained on how to use these safety tools in the right way.

Electric hazards

Electrical hazards may harm workers directly (electrocution) or indirectly (fall). Whatever it is, its damage could be fatal. As an employer, it is your duty to provide your employers power tools and equipment with no structural and electrical defect. Local electric codes and regulations should also be implemented to avoid incidents.

Asbestos exposure

This can be especially true for demolition projects involving structures built before the 1989 asbestos ban. By conducting trainings on how to manage asbestos and to mitigate its risk of exposure, you are keeping your employees safe from this harmful fiber that could pose risk of chronic and deadly illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

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The Amazing Tetralogy of Fallot and Depakote

You will sometimes come across a medical condition that does not sound like one at all. The Tetralogy of Fallot is one example, which sounds more like a play than a congenital (at birth) defect. The term “tetralogy” actually does have its origins in theater, and it refers to a type of marathon production of four works by the same author in Greek theater.

In this instance, however, the term refers to a quadruple whammy of congenital heart problems, specifically: pulmonary infundibular stenosis, overriding aorta, ventricular septal defect, and right ventricular hypertrophy. Add in foramen ovale or atrial septal defect and you have a pentalogy. That is one baby with many problems. However, all these medical conditions have one thing in common: it causes the oxygen levels in the blood to drop. When the body is deprived of the oxygen it needs, bad things happen. An easily recognizable symptom of Tetralogy of Fallot is a bluish cast on a baby’s skin, leading to the familiar term “blue baby.”

There are many factors that may lead to Tetralogy of Fallot, including a genetic predisposition, poor prenatal care, and alcoholism. According to the Williams Kherkher website, it is possible that Depakote may also be a possible cause of this condition. This could be mostly because it is a confirmed teratogenic (causes a disruption in fetal development) agent. Another reason is that millions of women have been prescribed it during their pregnancy to manage migraine headaches and epileptic seizures, believing that it was safe to do so.

While there are no studies specifically looking into the link between Tetralogy of Fallot and Depakote, it would be fairly reasonable to suggest that there may be one. If you believe that your child’s congenital heart condition may be due to Depakote, you may be right. Consult with an experience dangerous drugs law firm in your area to find out more.

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Healthy Habits to Avoid Side Effects of Blood Thinners

Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are a common drug type for treating certain cardiac medical conditions that can prevent clogging and other blood flow obstructions. While blood thinners are common, medications like Xarelto are known to cause severe bleeding incidents, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhaging, and serious blood loss.

Bleeding is a known risk of all anticoagulants. However, there are methods to preventing serious bleeding incidents. It is important to be aware of habits that can increase the risk of excessive bleeding and simple ways of decreasing risk.

All medications come with safety warnings to help prevent the patient from putting themselves in dangerous situations. While some blood thinners may not specifically warn against consumption of alcohol, excessive drinking while on blood thinners can interfere with the ability of blood to clot. Similarly, vitamin K is responsible for the clotting of blood and eating vitamin K-rich foods may obstruct the ability of blood thinners to work correctly.

Since blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding from sustained injuries, contact sports are ill-advised while prescribed an anticoagulant. Open wounds from sports related injuries can cause severe blood loss since the blood thinner stops blood from clotting. This warning also coincides with bleeding risks on the job. Some professions like construction work lead to a higher risk of uncontrollable bleeding incidents due to the dangerous nature of the work performed.

Consistent monitoring and communication with a physician is the best form of protecting yourself against the side effects of blood thinners. However, according to the website of the Williams Kherkher Law Firm, some risks are unforeseen, and negligent drug manufacturers may fail to warn their patients of serious side effects medication may cause.

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The Delicate Nature Between Alzheimer’s and the Law

It can be quite a tricky legal situation when the main person involved in the circumstances is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the website of Peck Ritchey, complications often arise in legal proceedings if an individual is deemed as no longer capable of making important decisions for their own person.

Seeing as Alzheimer’s is a disease that has been classified as the most common form of dementia, it can be looked upon as one that is due reason for legal claims made in this state to have been influenced by the illness. The disease involves severe memory loss, as well as the loss of certain cognitive abilities that allow for a person to make daily decisions, requiring for them to be assisted with every aspect of their lives.

That is why it is then of the utmost importance to acquire legal assistance that has a specialization in this branch of the law, due to the complications that a medical condition presents to the case. It can be a trying time for the family as well as the victim due to the living conditions that are indubitably changed in order to better adapt with the circumstances. There are many very little intricate details that need to be taken care of and taken into account when arranging legal documents whilst a condition of this nature exists with the individual concerned.

If you or someone you know has to go through an ordeal similar to this, it is recommended that action is taken immediately as this disease can be fast acting and entirely unpredictable. In order to ensure that the worldly belongings and legal documentation of the individual in question is taken care of and properly distributed, come the time of their passing, this should be handled by professionals who have sufficient knowledge of this medical case as well as an indomitable handle of this branch of the law.

It could save you and your family a lot of stress and heartache, and further grant you peace as soon as possible.

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Dealing with Wrongful Death

There is nothing quite as horrible as having to deal with the loss of someone who was important in your life. Nothing can ever replace or even compare to the lost life that was taken. But in the cases of wrongful death, the main point isn’t the payment received or any of the semantics – it is, primarily, the goal of achieving justice for the deceased who was taken well before their time in this life.

Cases of wrongful death are those of which the death of someone is caused directly due to the actions of another party, whether it was intentional or unintentional. These cases have the potential to be some of the most complicated procedures due to the nature of the crime. Some factors of the crime could indubitably change the outcome such as motive or intent or circumstance that led to the death. These are sometimes taken advantage of, in order for the accused to escape righteous justice as mandated by the law.

There is intent to be investigated as well as the evidence that must support the claim against the offending party. Cases of wrongful death are also considered separate from criminal charges such as homicide, assisted suicide, or manslaughter; though the surviving family or beneficiaries of the deceased could press for these charges against the accused all the same.

According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm, if you have lost someone important to you due to wrongful death, there are legal options available to you that you may pursue in order to receive financial compensation that might help with handling such an unfortunate tragedy. It is true enough that there can never be anything that could replace the life so unjustly taken from you but justice must be pursued all the same and you, as the surviving beneficiary or other family member left behind by the deceased, have every right to demand recompense in order to better transition into now living a life without your loved one.

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“No Zone” Area: One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

Driving for 11 hours straight or with very short rest periods is normal for many truck drivers; thus, due to this very challenging task, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 strictly requires that truck drivers undergo training, possess the necessary skills in operating a truck, and pass the test set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), before being issued a commercial vehicle license.

These enormous vehicles transport important cargos that keep businesses operational and profitable. Due to their size, however, they also pose a great threat to smaller motor road vehicles, which they can easily crush in the event of an accident.

Many different laws, therefore, have been passed, all aimed at helping make sure that drivers are qualified and kept from feeling fatigued or drowsy behind the wheel and that trucks are always in good condition and free from manufacturing defects. Besides the licensing requirement enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are also laws on the allowed number of hours of service (HOS) and maximum number of driving hours, quality standards on truck tires and brakes, prohibition on the use of handheld phones while driving and law on the use of a bluetooth headset, and so forth.

Besides these laws, there are other concerns truck drivers and other motorists are cautioned about as these have also been major causes of many truck accidents in the past. One of these concerns is a truck driver’s blind spot, otherwise known as a “no zone” area. This specifically includes the truck’s front, back and driver’s side. This “no zone” area is that spot where truck drivers usually fail to notice smaller vehicles. Thus, when changing lanes or making a (left) turn, a vehicle in this area is at risk of being crushed.

In its website, the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C., explains that many of those who get involved in truck accidents are just innocent victims and that the accident is actually a result of the truck driver’s negligence or carelessness. Due to this, the law allows victims to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.

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What Makes the Philippines the Best Country for Outsourcing

Outsourcing means contracting out a business process by one business organization to a third party organization, which may be located either nationally or internationally (known as offshoring). This business movement is usually resorted to by the host firm as an alternative due to a lack in the number of skilled individuals needed to fit a certain job description.

Outsourcing, more so offshoring, has become a vital business tactic among many big and developing foreign companies due to the much more favorable economic advantages this move offers both the host and third party organizations. Its greatest advantage is the opportunity of the third party organization to earn profits through the creation of new jobs, while for the host company, much lower cost in overhead or operating expenses since employment in the chosen country is much cheaper than in theirs. Furthermore, host firms are offered various incentives by the third-party’s country, like income-tax holidays, vital off-site facilities, foreign investors and their immediate family members are granted permanent resident status, choice of paying a special 5% gross income tax instead of the local and national taxes, and so forth.

One country that has been among the top choices of many giant foreign firms around the globe, including a substantial number of Fortune 500 companies, as the ideal place where to outsource/offshore their services and other projects is the Philippines.

Though outsourcing in the Philippines began only in the 1990s, its worth already to ballooned to $1.5 billion in 2004 and to $9 billion in 2009. That’s a growth of $1.5 billion per year over a span of only 5  years. In 2013 the country was also able to edge New Delhi at the third spot in the 2013 top 100 global outsourcing destinations.

The trend only continues to lead towards the further growth of outsourcing in the Philippines as top companies in Australia have also began to outsource in the country. This is obviously due to the fact that outsourced projects and services are manned by English speaking individuals with a high literacy level. Outsourced jobs include call centers, customer relationship management, HR solutions, back office/chat support, creative processes, content writing, blogging, research, application maintenance, IT services, web design, software development, medical transcription, healthcare information management, legal services, and so forth.

Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center Inc. (PPOC Inc.) is one company in the Philippines that has grown tremendously over just a period of two years. In 2013 one US-based company made a bold prediction about outsourcing in the Philippines; it said that by 2030 the industry will push the Philippines to becoming a trillion-dollar economy.

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The Major Advantage of a Special Needs Trust

Child support is one of the most important issues separating spouses need to settle during the divorce process. Though each parent may fight for the right to have custody over their child, there are many instances when guardianship is awarded to only one parent, with the other just being given visitation rights.

Though there are instances when spouses are able to settle all divorce-related issues amicably, a friendly settlement just does not seem to be the means for many other couples. Arenson Law Group, PC, explains on its website that where a contested divorce is the case, the spouses would find it easier to address all issues through the help of highly-skilled divorce lawyers; this is especially true when settling child custody and child support issues. Such cases can be energy draining and the help of a divorce lawyer is absolutely needed most of the time.

Regardless of who gets appointed by the court as custodial parent, one common duty of divorced spouses is to support their child, more so if the child were suffering from physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability. A parent who sincerely cares about his/her child, though, despite failing to win custody battle, will do everything to make sure that the child is never deprived of a good standard of living by providing for his/her various needs and, if possible, for his/her future.

Leaving (to a disabled loved one) property and money will have to be planned carefully, for failure to do so can very well result to deprivation of government financial and health care benefits, specifically the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and nursing care, which is provided by the Medicaid welfare program. For while bequeathing a car or a house to a child with disability will never affect his/her SSI and/or Medicaid eligibility, it is not the same if what will be left behind were cash (such as bank savings) and certain assets.

Avoiding this problem is possible, though, through the drafting of a special needs trust (also called supplemental needs trusts). This supplemental needs trust is a federally/state-recognized means of protecting the assets of, and providing benefits to, a loved one with disability. By leaving (for a loved one) properties and cash to the special needs trust, instead of to your loved one directly, he/she will never lose eligibility to SSI and Medicaid. This trust will end, however, once the all the money in the trust has been spent or upon the death of the beneficiary.

The testator (or the person drafting the Will) also has the legal right to appoint his/her chosen trustee, whose responsibility will include management of the properties specified in the trust and the cash, especially where spending for your loved one is the concern.

On its website, the law firm Peck Ritchey, LLC, clearly explains that, whether it is for the benefit of disabled adults or minors, there are ways to improve the quality of their lives through special needs trusts, coordination of public and private resources, and asset planning. Resolving division and conflict among family members due to legal issues, such as administration of estates, Wills, guardianships, etc., can also be mended, especially with the help of a competent and experienced attorney in the field of family law. The only necessary thing is that the family, or the individual concerned, chooses the family law lawyer who will be able to best address its unique needs and issues.

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More than 10,000 Lawsuits Filed against Bayer because of Yaz

After earning the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for patient use in 2006, Yaz gained immediate popularity due to claims that the drug is safe, effective and provides lots of other benefits. Yaz, a Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals drug, easily became one of the most popular and widely prescribed oral contraceptives in the US (and around the globe). It contained Bayer’s uniquely formulated synthetic progestin known as Drospirenone, which effectively prevented egg cells from evolving, thus averting any possibility of pregnancy. But more than just keeping women from becoming pregnant, Yaz was also marketed as an effective treatment for temperate acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

From 2001 to 2013, about 23 Canadian women were reported to have died within months of taking Yaz or Yasmin (another oral contraceptive pill which Bayer released in 2001). Besides these deaths, another 300 cases of adverse events were reported by women who suffered (because of the pills) pulmonary embolism (or blood clots in the lungs), heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (a clotting of blood that prevents blood from being supplied to the brain) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in the legs.

Yaz was also found to cause other ill effects, including migraine, breast pains, leg pain and queasiness. Bayer’s Drospirenone was also found to be responsible in causing impaired vision, numbness of arms or legs, quickness of breath, and chest ache.

Moves from the FDA, in connection to the reported adverse effects of Yaz, included directions to Bayer, one in 2009, to correct its Yaz advertisement, which assertively stated the drug’s benefits and endorsed it as not necessitating any prescription, while taking lightly the risks to health that it can cause, such as blood clot. The other directive was issued in 2012, wherein the FDA asked Bayer to include in Yaz’s label the greater risk for blood clots in those who would use it.

In 2011 a warning was issued by the US FDA and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), stating the risk of blood clots up to 74 percent in women use would take drugs (such as Yaz) that contained the artificial hormone Drospirenone.

The following year (2012), about 10,000 lawsuits were filed against Bayer; yet, despite these lawsuits and the $1 billion in claims settlement the Bayer paid during the same year, the company maintained its position about Yaz’s safety and never admitted liability.

As of February 2013, the number of individuals who have filed personal injury lawsuits against Bayer has reached 13,600. Substantial information posted on the website of Williams Kherkher states that pharmaceutical firms that manufacture dangerous medications should be held liable for their drug’s adverse effects and should be ready to compensate whoever is proven to have been injured because of the use of their products.

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Violation of Minimum Wage Laws

All across the US, employees are protected by federal and state laws against employment discrimination, especially where wage and overtime pay are the issues. Besides the anti- discrimination laws, there are also laws that specifically specify the lawful number of working hours within a week, the minimum wage, who can render overtime work and the computation for overtime pay.

The Wages and Hours Bill, more commonly known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which the US Congress passed into law in 1938, is the specific ordinance that mandates both private and public employers on just wages. But while the federal law may determine the minimum wage employees across the nation ought to receive, state laws may also determine an amount which may be higher (never lower) than the federally stated daily minimum pay.

In its website, Cary Kane LLP, clearly explains that while employers, who meet the tests covered by federal law, ought to pay their employees the minimum hourly wage of $7.25, this pay falls lower than the stated-mandated minimum hourly pay in New York, which is $8.00 per hour (with a scheduled increase of 75 cents per hour both in 2015 and 2016) – the amount employees in New York have all the legal right to claim.

Despite the federal law (in general) and the state law, in particular, however, many employees, especially undocumented workers, are robbed of the right to receive the lawful minimum pay by stubborn employers. And to get away with their acts that clearly violate the minimum wage law, employers hint on the consequence of firing anyone who may have any intent of complaining (with regard to undocumented workers, employers usually raise the issue of illegal immigration and the threat of deportation).

Employees deprived of their right to receive the minimum hourly pay determined by the government or by their state (whichever amount is higher), should never hesitate about raising a complaint to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of filing a private civil lawsuit against their employer. These same employees should also know that, contrary to their fear of being fired or being denied of the benefits due to them if they complain, the law is on their side, protecting them even from any retaliatory acts thought of by their employer or whoever the employer may think of using to perform the retaliatory acts.

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